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HY 314 Week 8 Notes

by: Victoria Miller

HY 314 Week 8 Notes HY 314

Victoria Miller

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These notes cover the Mexican American War and starts to go into the Compromise of 1850. Notes from classes on October 10th and 12th.
Coming of the Civil War
Lawrence Kohl
Class Notes
The University of Alabama, civilwar, kohl, history, slavery, Mexican American War
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Victoria Miller on Wednesday October 12, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to HY 314 at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa taught by Lawrence Kohl in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 37 views. For similar materials see Coming of the Civil War in History at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa.


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Date Created: 10/12/16
HY 314 Week 8 Notes 10/10-10/12 Mexican American War  Polk sends Zachary Taylor to the Rio Grande, Texas recognized it as the border o Went there to specifically provoke a war so they could declare war on Mexico and get the land o Polk claims Mexico owes Americans a lot of money and is willing to ask Congress for a declaration of war based on this  However, that doesn’t happen because there’s a skirmish at the Rio Grande and Congress declares war on Mexico on May 13, 1846  Question: how much land are we going to take?  Opposition o Whigs don’t want this war  John Quincy Adams voted against it  It’s really hard to oppose a war once it’s been declared, though  It looks treasonous no to support the war without withdrawing support for the troops  Some Whigs even fight in the war o But we won the war and got a lot of great things from it so it’s hard to bad mouth it then  Polk settles Oregon with Britain at 49 parallel o Totally compromises even though he said he’d fight  This is because he’s already in a war with Mexico  California o Bear Flag revolt brings California under American control very early  Zachary Taylor o Seizes Monterrey early on  Polk isn’t happy, though  Mexico won’t be conquered from the North down  Also fears that Taylor is too popular and could be a presidential candidate for the Whigs in the future o Would be hard for the Democrats to oppose a war hero o Most military people weren’t political at this time because their job is to serve their country, not a particular party  Sends Winfield Scott  Winfield Scott o Comes down the coast and lands at Veracruz  Most of professional army sent here, leaving Taylor with the volunteers  Taylor gets attacked at Buena Vista by Santa Anna but holds out and wins  Realizes that he’ll never get to Mexico City this way and asks to be relieved (which he is and comes back to New Orleans to a huge parade, proving that he’s already hella popular and competition for the Democrats) o Meanwhile, Polk is still trying to negotiate with Mexican government  Santa Anna makes a secret deal with US saying if they let him through the lines to Mexico City, he’d take over the government and give the US whatever they want  As soon as he does, though, he takes back his promise and keeps fighting the US because if he didn’t, he’d be removed from office or assassinated  Fighting Stops o Nicholas Trist  Sent to Mexico to negotiate  Mexicans are softening as Scott keeps winning but Polk is hardening, wanting to take over all of Mexico  Trist ignores orders from Polk to come back and get new instructions, and believes he’s on the verge of a settlement that will get everything Polk wanted  Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo  Rio Grande is recognized as the border of Texas  Upper California for ports on the Pacific  New Mexico (Nevada, Utah, virtually all of the Southwest)  We pay Mexico $15 million  We pay Mexican claims o After it was over, it was hard to criticize the war  But there are still critics  “Your mission was to be a model” – can’t bring freedom by conquering other people  Is this the true meaning of Manifest Destiny?  Emerson, “Mexico will poison us” 10/12 Compromise of 1850  1846 o August – Mexican War has just begun o Polk suggests a bill that will approve $2 million to negotiate for Mexican land  Proves that the war was just a land grab  David Wilmot makes a proviso saying that any land acquired would be closed to slavery  Wilmot Proviso  Passed in Congress 80/64 o 61 against were slave states  Congressmen wanted the bill tabled o 94/78 vote to not table it  91 North 74 South  This was weird because people almost always voted with party but this was sectional instead  Never passes  But time and time again, Northerners raise it and Southerners oppose it  Northern Dems are starting to get irritated because they feel Southern Dems are dominating o Goes back to Van Buren, a Northerner who was against Texas, Southern wing made sure he didn’t get the nomination o Polk on expansion and falling through with Oregon – proved he really didn’t care about Northern interests o Walker Tariff – Northerners wanted a high tariff and this tariff was the lowest ever before the Civil War o Rivers and Harbors bill – people in West wanted it, Polk vetoes it, alienating the Western Dems, too o We now see that Northerners and Southerners differ very much on slavery issue  Not on race  North opposes the institution of slavery o Differing on slavery  Issue is up to the states where it already exists  Can’t do anything about it in the South  In the territories, however, they are under federal control and not yet states  Different positions on slavery in the territories:  Wilmot Proviso o Federal government has authority and should use it to prohibit slavery in the territories o Position of the future Republican party  John C. Calhoun o Position of the South o Totally disagreed with the Wilmot Proviso suggestion o Territories are common property of all the people of the US and it would be unconstitutional to discriminate against some Americans going there and taking their “way of life” (meaning their slaves/property) with them  Missouri Compromise o 36’30 line  kind of the Ohio River o By saying you can’t have slavery above the line, it recognizes the federal government’s authority to prohibit slavery in the territories  Popular Sovereignty o Democratic Party’s position o People are ultimate power o Say nothing about federal government having authority or not o Let the people in the territory decide for themselves o Instead of arguing in the federal government, it removes the issue way out West o Seems hella American in letting people decide and keeping it local o Problems:  1. All authority in a territory is given by the federal government  If the feds don’t have the authority to prohibit slavery there in the first place, how could the delegate it to the territory?  2. When will this vote happen?  Moving toward statehood: o Have to make treaties with the Indians, ceding their rights to the land o Have to survey it to know its borders o Create a territorial government with governor appointed by federal government o Once they have a certain population, they can draft a state constitution and apply for statehood  Once they become a state, nobody can say shit about what the state does about slavery  They could vote at the very beginning of the territorial stage or at the very end right before it becomes a state o Vote at the beginning:  If they vote no then slaves will not be brought in and it will become a free state  What the North wanted o Vote at the end:  People will bring slaves with them when they move there and everyone will vote for slavery, even the Yankees, because they’re racist and didn’t want free African Americans living as their equals in their society so they’d rather keep them as slaves  Southern Position on slavery in the territories:  Economic Reasons o Most people believed that without expansion, slavery would die  Got the idea from watching the progress of slavery over time  Virginia – tobacco dying out as a crop  soil depleted  had way more slaves than they could use and the only thing that kept them afloat was selling excess slaves West  Social Reasons o To prohibit slavery in territories was to prohibit the social and economic mobility of white people o Social mobility creates economic mobility o Says slave owners are second class citizens and their way of life is evil  Southerners just couldn’t accept that  Political Reasons o Without expansion, the South couldn’t protect itself in Congress because the North had a much bigger population, giving them control of the House  Had to keep the Senate balanced  Had to protect themselves against anti- slavery legislation  Really what caused the Civil War, because slavery was constitutionally protected in the Southern states where it already existed


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